Working with local young people and projecting the benefits of community based work
Re: NCS – Grimsby town youth working with Green Futures at The Vanson Centre, Bradley
Report regarding the week of Aug 5th – 9th 2013
- Re-painted the building on site – work included: sanding down the walls, covering the floor surfaces and painting the external brickwork.
- Weeding and watering on site – work included: internal weeding and watering in the 3 poly tunnels, weeding the back plots, composting, burning off dried weeds, pest control (catching cabbage white butterflies with a fishing net . . ) planting fresh seedlings and potting on plants.
- General tidy up on site – work included: moving recyclables into their designated place, sweeping down, clearing weeded area, grass cutting, watering, tidying the composting area, controlled burn of dried green waste and tidying the inside of the building
- Woodland Clean up – guided walk down to Bradley woods discussing indigenous British flora and fauna, woodlands in Lincolnshire and the natural environment. Work included: litter picking between Green Futures site and Bradley Woods and Litter picking the woodland. Additional support by Emma Warrener, a local Herbalist. She walked the young people through the woodland and discussed the historic, medicinal and edible use of the plants, shrubs and tree’s within the woodlands.
- Community project – Laceby wild pollinator Raised Bed. – Working in partnership with RAALI (Residents Association for Aylesby, Laceby & Irby) work included: Clearing the old flower bed next to the Chalk stream. Constructing a raised bed from Railway sleepers, back filling with new soil, planting up with bee friendly plants and herbs, watering, sweeping down and tidying the site.
- Environmental Art – working in partnership with local artist Steve Green. Work included: discussing the natural environment, shape, form, growth and seasons. Evaluating recyclables and structure, pressing flowers, design and drawing session.
- Regarding the Work done on Site
The young people where offered the opportunity of choosing which work they wanted to get involved in, this was to push decision making and promote the opportunity of working in a field of their interest. We witnessed some dedicated individuals that worked very well with their peers and Green Futures volunteers on site. We placed two mature volunteers with groups and promoted a mentoring process. The young people worked well under their own steam and finalised their given tasks. As with every group there were 3 – 5 individuals that didn’t want to engage as the others were happy to do. (age and attitude being contributors rather than interaction and work load). The painting was done well, the building looks like it’s had a new lease of life (from the outside at least). The spring clean on site really has made a big difference to the perception of new visitors and has benefited us as a social enterprise that actively encourages walking busses from local schools and children’s’ centres. Between the allocated work sessions; the young people where keen to discuss and explore the numerous interactions on site. We discussed, the natural environment and the personal benefits regarding its health, biodiversity, pollination, bee keeping and honey making, seasonal fluctuation and growing your own food, diet, physical fitness, community based and green economy, geology, botany, horticulture and permiculture, practical conservation, British wildlife, personal aspirations, career ideas and further education.
- Regarding the Work done in the Woodlands
We instigated two sessions at Bradley woods.
The young people walked from The Vanson Centre to Bradley woods following two different routes. First session followed the main road down to the woodland – litter picking all the way there and whilst there. The second session walked through the village of Bradley – again, litter picking all the way there and whilst there.
Together the young people collected 13 bags of non biodegradables from their walk – these were collected by the local authority and disposed of. Throughout both walks’ discussions where instigated on the following topics – Tree’s and the part they play in our existence, Lincolnshire and the percentage tree cover, The Oak tree and the species that are dependent on them, Local Flora and Fauna and local agriculture. We were joined by a local Herbalist; Emma Warrener , on the second walk and she identified and discussed the plants, shrubs and trees with the young people. It was great to see such interest and interaction.
- Regarding the Work done on the Community Project in Laceby
The project at Laceby allowed me to work with 15 young people – we looked at clearing the area, construction (to which Jake was excellent), back filling with new soil, plants and planting, pollinator plants, local biodiversity and community based work. Discussions with the young people broadened the idea of partnership approaches to resolving problems and enhancing the natural environment for local people. The young people worked well as a team, sharing workloads and offering to play a part in the project. The group where very impressed with both the work and the outcome of the raised bed and supported the whole group on their last day with us. They have since then submitted an additional correspondence to thank the group for their sterling work.
In Conclusion, on behalf of all of us here at Green Future, i would like to thank each and every one who spent the week assisting in the ongoing process of creating an educational landscape with us here at the Vanson Centre and improving the natural environment in and around North East Lincolnshire. This project would be nothing without the good people that choose to spend their time with us.
I would like to add an additional thank you to all who facilitated the process for these young people. We witnessed a very pro-active and supportive system and thoroughly enjoyed the week we had with everyone.
We look forward to this becoming a standard system for next summer and really getting these young people actively involved in projects that improve and enhance Grimsby and its surrounding areas.
Pete Allen – Development Officer – Green Futures